Just Wear the Damn Mask


I rarely take sides on public issues in this blog (although you’ll find plenty of examples in various newspapers’ “Letters to the Editor” section, especially the Taipei Times and Tampa Bay Times), but this is an exception simply due to what I perceive as rampant stupidity on the part of so many Americans.

What’s got Kirk all riled up, you ask?!?

Simple-ish…the sudden about-face taken by the CDC, usually a rational-thinking organization but, most recently, suspiciously politically sensitive. The “revised” advice on mask wearing smacks of, somehow, politically-influenced public communication. Telling Americans that it’s perfectly okay to wander around and go shopping without bothering to wear a mask?!? Sorry, “medical experts.” Not smart.

If one thing has become patently obvious throughout the course of the Covid-19 devastation, it is that Americans are arrogantly and thoughtlessly self-centered. All they see or hear is what I rant about in my public relations and organizational communication classes at The University of Tampa… “WIIFM…What’s In It For Me?”

Yes, the entire world…every nation on every continent…is frantically scrambling to get control of the pandemic. But not every person in every nation on every continent has accepted the facts of the challenge. All you have to do is keep up with the international news media in Europe and Asia, for example, to see the different approaches by citizens.

I have zero intention of getting into any “discussions” about my own approach. What I will do is tell you that, when I go out for anything…shopping, checking the mail…I have a mask with me and I wear it when around even ONE person.

Yes. I’m fully vaccinated. Yes. I will get a “booster” shot when the option becomes available.

No…sadly…I will not go back into the physical classroom or to in-person professional meetings until the medical data reassures me that life truly IS back to “normal.” I hate, hate, hate not being able to meet one-on-one with my students or my friends and colleagues.

But I would hate even more finding myself relegated to a bed in a hospital’s ICU hooked up to a respirator.

To close out with a reference that I make a LOT, we’re all in this together and, to get back to “normal,” we have to work together… “We all play in the same band.”

So, please…just wear the damn mask.

About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 20 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
This entry was posted in Action, Communication, Critical Thinking, Education, PR students, The University of Tampa, University of Tampa. Bookmark the permalink.

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